Who Won, Lost the Debate

Put Rubio in the winner's camp, Bush in the loser's
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2015 10:52 PM CDT
Who Won, Lost the Debate
Mike Huckabee, left, speaks as Jeb Bush, center and Marco Rubio look on.   (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Some winners and losers of Wednesday night's debate were emerging in the immediate aftermath, though the two front-runners—Donald Trump and Ben Carson—weren't showing up in either category. Neither made many headlines. Here's a quick look:

  • Winners: Marco Rubio is coming up as a consensus winner. Politico, for example, says he "stole the show" with his jabs at Jeb Bush and the mainstream media, and with his overall polished performance. Ted Cruz, too, is getting strong reviews, mostly for his aggressive attacks against the media and the moderators. The Washington Post adds Chris Christie's name to the list of winners.
  • The big loser: Jeb Bush is getting dismal reviews. Simply put, he "failed to turn in the type of performance that would soothe the fears of his nervous-and-getting-more-so backers inside the Republican Party," writes Josh Voorhees at Slate. Pundits had predicted that a weak showing might be the end of his campaign, writes David Graham at the Atlantic. "He’d better hope they were wrong about that—because this was not a strong performance."

  • Also taking flak: The CNBC moderators took heat from the candidates all night for what they perceived as less-than-substantive questions, and the audience even booed at one point during a moderator's attempts at a "gotcha" exchange with Ben Carson, notes Politico. A post at ThinkProgress blames the moderators for a debate that was "kind of a trainwreck."
  • In terms of face time: Carly Fiorina had the most speaking time at 10:41, while Bush trailed the entire pack at 6:08, notes the New York Times. In between, in order of time allowed, were Rubio, Trump, Kasich, Christie, Cruz, Huckabee, Paul, and Carson.
(More Republican debate stories.)

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